I SPENT NEARLY THREE heart-breaking years trying to get pregnant, until I decided I couldn’t do it anymore. Month after month I would anxiously wait, then curse, wondering if I’d exercised too much or not enough, if I should have stayed in Handstand an extra minute after sex, if I was still too stressed out about work, or if I wasn’t putting my mental and physical energy in the right places for conception. I felt like I was failing over and over again. Infertility is a huge disappointment—as is anything you really want and can’t manifest.
But a couple of years removed from the day-to-day drama of it, I can see it was also a gift. It offered a bittersweet lesson: We always have the power to decide how to redirect our efforts. I became acutely aware of how I spend my precious, limited time on this earth. During that whole-hearted effort to become a mom, I felt off-kilter. For me, it was an unsustainable, highly monitored, sheltered, and obsessive approach to life. I felt at war with my body. And eventually I started to feel like I was fighting the plan the universe had made for me. I needed to let go and stop clinging to a desired outcome.
The happy result? While I will never get to know the kind of maternal love that comes from carrying a child, I’ve found so many other ways to connect. I now get to invest more energy into my relationships with my amazing nieces and nephew, and with my husband and my own parents.
Whether you’re dealing with a big disappointment or you’re generally feeling overspent in this always-on-the-go culture, the fact is that many of us are in the midst of an alarming personal-energy crisis, in which we strive, give, and try to keep up without setting aside time for self-reflection or repletion. We are all effort, no ease.
This issue of Yoga Journal embodies the tension between conversing and spending; restoring and sharing. Leslie Goldman’s story on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation, often misdiagnosed as adrenal fatigue, (see “The New Energy Crisis,” page 38) should be a warning call to us all about the importance of slowing down and making time for the things that fill us up. Our Home Practice teacher, Amanda Giacomini (page 63) presents another take on channeling energy and shows us how to turn it into creative inspiration. And because energy also manifests in the form of material goods, our annual gear guide (page 24) will help you put your money (also energy!) behind products and companies that consider sustainability.
Lastly, our remarkable cover model, Kundalini Yoga teacher Karena Virginia, has curated a powerful practice around the power of belief (see “Believe in the Power of Potential,” page 74). Karena’s story of miscarriage and her faith in a higher power are a beautiful representation of what it means to live with grace and gratitude—and how all of us always have the option to redirect our energy and turn our moods—and lives—around.